LincolnHealth reported 57 COVID-19 cases out of 859 tests for the week of Sept. 20. With test numbers down slightly and cases down significantly, the positivity rate lowered to 6.64% from 9.4% during the week of Sept. 13. Breakthrough cases, those who have contracted the virus after vaccination, dropped to 23% and less than half of all cases were people under 18, said Director of Communications John Martins.
“There have been reports of studies showing that this COVID-19 surge may have reached its peak nationally,” said Martins. “While we're pleased to see the decreases in cases and positivity rate, and while it's encouraging, I'm not certain we can consider this a trend just yet.”
Martins said there have been many inquiries into receiving booster vaccines, but the only Food and Drug Administration-approved booster is the Pfizer vaccine and most people who live in Lincoln County have received the Moderna vaccine. LincolnHealth is working on a plan to deliver the boosters once they become available, said Martins. “We advise people to check their weekly newspapers, the LincolnHealth Facebook page and the website for information. We will share details as soon as they become available.”
Third shots of Moderna and Pfizer are available for those who are immunocompromised, said Martins. Patients should call their primary care providers to schedule an appointment. LincolnHealth is working to establish more clinics a few days a week at Miles Campus Watson Center as medical professionals are still encouraging vaccination for those eligible, said Martins. It is widely available and remains the best protection against COVID-19, he said.
With influenza season fast approaching, LincolnHealth is also encouraging people to get their flu shots. They will be available at clinics on the St. Andrews Urgent Care campus in Boothbay Harbor, Miles campus in Damariscotta, and at Lincoln Medical Partners in Wiscasset from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 2 and Oct. 9.
“While appointments are definitely best for all concerned, we will take walk-ins. It's too early to predict how challenging the flu season will be this year, but it is likely to be worse than last year, when COVID-19 precautions like masking and remote schooling, for example, led to much lower incidences of the flu.”
Miles Campus Respiratory Care Clinic recently surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 tests since the pandemic began. Said Martins, “This small but mighty team has been doing exceptional work and we are so grateful for their efforts.”